Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday on the Eno

Preston and I got together to fish the Eno this Saturday afternoon. We fished a upper section that we had both not been to before. The weather was warm, but tolerable. We hiked down to the water and were greeted with a beautiful view.

The water was super clear and you could see small fish, lingering in all of the small runs and pools. I threw in a little bugger that has some rubber legs. Instantly a little bass hit it. It was too small to take the fly but it was encouraging behaviour that the fish would be aggressive even for the time of day. We hit the water close to 2pm.

Here's Preston assessing the situation. The water was not deep at all this section, so it was a matter of searching for fish without spooking them. Luckily the fish didn't seem to be spooked by people. Many times fish would swim within feet of where I was standing.

Preston couldn't stand it anymore and had to get in the water to start fishing.

He started to wear them out on this section. I don't know how many sunfish he caught but ever time I looked over he was reeling one in. Maybe it was the same one. (Just kiddin preston!) We caught fish throughout the day. We couldn't have asked for better conditions. The sunfish seemed to hit any fly, the bass were a little more finicky. I caught one on a popper and had many denials. This river is great for sight fishing. You can watch the behavior of bass and see how they look at different flies. Many times I had bass almost come up and touch the fly with its lips only to turn and swim away. We found a deep pool where good size bass were swimming everywhere. I caught one on a clouser who took it from me. The fish did something neither Preston or I ever saw before. It kept jumping like it was still on my line. I can only imagine it was trying to get the clouser out of the corner of it's mouth, it jumped several times. We stayed at this pool for awhile since there was obviously fish there and it was shaded. Preston let me borrow a clouser type pattern and I did one of my best casts of the day and hooked what I thought was a pretty good bass. As I got the fish closer, It was too skinny to be a bass, and faught to hard to be a sunfish, it actually looked like a trout or a bowfin. I was hoping to catch a Roanoke bass, that was my goal for today. I finally was able to reel it in and to my suprise

It was a catfsih. I didn't think they were in the Eno. It makes sence, where we were fishing the water was calm and the bottom was sandy and pretty deep. A perfect place for a bullhead to live. Sadly that was my biggest fish of the day. We continued to catch sunfish here and there but as the day got later the fishing seemed to cool off. We decided to call it a day. We had a great time and will definately be coming back. Hopefully with some more TU members.

Nice view on the way

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fun Fishin'

I decided to try out my spinning rod that I haven't messed with since I got it. It was bought to try for some smallies when I went on the mountain trip. I took it to the local pond last night and put on a spinner bait. On my second cast I caught this pig. I guesstimate the fish to be around 5lbs. When it first hit the spinner bait, it hit it so hard I thought I hooked a turtle. It took me awhile to reel it in. I was horsing it to the surface to see what it was. I haven't caught a bass in this lake before so when I finally beached it, I was totally shocked to see it was a huge bass. It was really thick and healthy. It swam away fine after the pictures. The rest of the night was kind of disappointing, I saw the tail of a fish that had to be huge. I think it was a carp. There was lots of surface activity with fish slapping and minnows boiling. I didn't catch too much after that. Just a few bites here and there. I decided to come back the next day. Today, I showed up to the lake with some night crawlers and some new spinner baits. I haven't fished with night crawlers since I was probably in high school. I was hoping to catch a huge catfish. I didn't manage to catch a huge on but I did manage to catch quite a few. Most were between 7-10inches with the occasional 13incher.After catching about 10 or so I tried to move around the lake and change baits. Nothing was working as well as the night crawlers. I caught a few more catfish and a few bluegill then called it a day. It was really fun fishing. I haven't caught so many fish in such short of a time in awhile. This last pic is a catfish that was probably the biggest of the day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Local Pond

I fished the local pond on Sunday and the fishing was pretty good. There was catfish hitting all over the place. There's bream schooling everywhere as well. I caught two catfish and missed about 5. I decided to go back today. I managed to catch a bluegill and this catfish.

It wasn't that big but still fun to catch. I might go back this weekend and try to get a few more. There were some other people fishing and one kid looked like he had a pretty good size fish on. I came off before he landed it. Here's more info on the catfish

Scientific Name: Ameiurus species

Other Common Names: horned pout, creek cat, mudcat

In North Carolina, there are five species of catfish listed as bullheads —the brown (pictured above), yellow, black, flat and snail bullhead. Although these catfish are difficult to identify by species, they are easily separated from other catfish by their lack of a forked tail. Color varies depending on species, but all are characterized by a robust, squatty appearance. Fish experts consider the white catfish a bullhead as well, although anglers can identify it by its white appearance and moderately forked tail.

Habitats and Habits
Bullhead catfish are extremely abundant in many North Carolina streams, rivers, ponds and lakes. They tolerate a wide variety of habitats, including very muddy water and even low oxygen levels. Although their numbers can be extremely high in many bodies of water, they usually don’t get the attention of other catfish species because of their smaller size. However, they make excellent table fare and should not be overlooked, especially for anyone that enjoys easy, relaxing fishing.

Fishing Techniques
Bullhead catfish can be caught by many of the same methods used for other catfish. Worms, minnows, scented baits and hellgrammites fished on or near the bottom work well. Henry David Thoreau probably put it the best when he said, “they will take any kind of bait, from angleworms to a piece of tomato can.”

Good Places to Fish
Practically all of the lakes, rivers and streams in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain contain bullhead catfish. The Yadkin River from W. Kerr Scott Reservoir downstream to Idols Dam in Winston Salem holds excellent numbers. Densities below Idols Dam on the Yadkin River are low, probably because of the introduction of flathead catfish. Good bullhead fishing is often not found in rivers and lakes that have flathead catfish since flatheads favor bullhead catfish as food.


NCARP Minimum Requirements: None yet established

State Record: Brown bullhead, 3 lbs., 12 oz., from Buck Hall Creek in Duplin County, April 26, 1997

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So just who is Lefty Kreh?

Article is by
Peter Budryk is the author of Trout & Salmon Lakes of CT

Instantly recognizable to millions of idolizing anglers by his trademark fishing cap, this relatively diminutive man is a colossal symbol of America's love for the great outdoors. Fatherless at a tender age, a child of the Great Depression, he served in World War II and started as a writer in the Chesapeake Bay area.

He developed into a prolific outdoor journalist, sport-fishing innovator, pioneering technician, conservationist, and, ultimately, into a national and international icon. His name appears on the mastheads of several national fly fishing magazines. He fishes with American presidents and statesmen, the world's royalty, and even revolutionaries. He has written hundreds of articles and numerous popular books on fly fishing and outdoor photography. His unpretentious prose flows across the page like the clear, cool waters of a stream course across the American landscape.

He welcomed me into the home he shares with his loving wife Ev. I discovered for myself on that day that, his monumental achievements to sport fishing notwithstanding, Lefty Kreh is above all else, an extremely intelligent, wise, joyful, and inclusive man. His sparkling blue eyes reflect both the distinctly American and irrepressible humor of a Will Rogers and the acuity of an eagle. While my somewhat cynical nature disposed me to some expectation of disappointment in moving aside the curtain, I did indeed meet, not an impostor, but a genuine wizard who is also a very nice guy.

Lefty will be 79 on February 26; his wife, Ev, turned 77 on October 12. They have been married for 58 years.

In October, 2002, Lefty suffered a stroke followed by a heart attack in December. When I spoke with him recently he said he feels healthy and full of the devil.

"Maybe I am getting old," he said. "I named my pet zebra 'spot.'"

You can drop him a note at 210 Wickersham Way Hunt Valley, MD 21030 to let him know how much you appreciate his lifetime of contributions to our pastime.

Lefty Kreh and his wife Ev (above) have been married 58 years.
Lefty on Women and Fishing

Q: You've been married to the same woman for 58 years. How do you negotiate the tension between your desire to go fishing and your wife' s desire for you to stay around and do things together with her?

LK: There isn't any problem at all and never has been. While I do some recreational fishing, most of the fishing I do is to gather some material or for some other purpose. I think that any wife will put up with 10 times what any husband would do if the wife knows the husband is doing it for both of them. When you get into trouble is when you make her feel like she's not part of the program. People say how can you travel so often? Well, how can a wife love a traveling salesman? Or a tackle rep or someone like that? I've been full time doing this since 1964. I know she looks better when I come back from a trip than when I left. And I hope she feels the same way. Marriages where they spend all of their time together must be pretty boring marriages. But then, other than weekends, I'm home all the rest of the time. People don't realize that an outdoor writer like I am spends more quality time with my wife than the average person who gets up, has a quick breakfast, is out 'til 5 o'clock, has a quick supper, does the dishes, and maybe has one good hour together. Because I work at home and for myself, if Ev and I want to go 50 miles away for lunch we can do that. If I'm home too much, Ev asks if I ain't got a short trip I need to take.

Q: That works for you because of who you are and the nature of your work, but what about the everyday recreational angler who runs afoul of his wife's ideas of how a married couple should spend their time. I know of many divorces that have resulted from this conflict.

LK: I believe one of the secrets of a successful marriage is this--women are among the most insecure creatures on earth. You have to tell them every day that you love them. And mean it! If you miss three days they think you have a mistress. So for people who are not in the business like me, if they want to fish a lot they've also got to spend time doing things their wife likes. Another way is to get your wife involved in fishing. That's something happening a lot with fly fishing. Across the country I've observed that most of the growing segment of the industry is women, which is a good thing. Women are going to bring the children into the sport because it's a good family sport. The average husband--and I don't think they'd say it out loud--but he'd probably rather dig a ditch than go on a cruise. Most men find cruises to be horribly boring. But we do these things because it makes our wives happy. The nice thing about getting your wife involved in fly fishing is that you're both doing something you both enjoy and you do it in nice places. If you make your wife feel like she's the most important thing in your life, she'll let you go fishing a lot. But you 've got to be sincere about it.

Death, the Great Depression, and Fishing

LK: I first got into fishing because in 1932 my father died. He was kicked in the chest in a basketball game.It ruptured a valve in his heart. Today, they can repair that. This was at the height of the depression. We lived in Frederick, MD--central MD.In those days there were very few rich people and everybody else was very poor. My mother had four children. I was the oldest. I had one sister younger than me and two brothers younger than her. We lived on welfare in a black ghetto until I went into the army at the age of 18. But before World War II, most of the United States was rural, very different from what it is now. In Frederick there were a number of streams and rivers which you could walk to in an hour which we didn't think anything of in those days. You didn't need much to go fishing. As I got older, I gathered enough to go hunting as well. I used to do some exhibition shooting for Remington Arms. You could walk 10 minutes out of town and begin to find places you could hunt and fish. The first year I was in high school I worked on a farm to get enough money for clothes and lunch. In those days you could get away at 14 or 15 with working. Nobody pushed the law.

My mother told me,"If you earn enough money for your clothes and lunches, you can stay in high school." So a man who later turned out to be my stepfather but who was a good friend of the family at that time, had a river boat that you poled and he let me use it. I was about 12. I began to do what we called "bush bobbing" where we hung lines with baited hooks on branches that hung out over the water. You couldn't do this in the daytime because the turtles would eat all the bait. At night the catfish would roam the riverbanks and when they grabbed the bait and took off the bush acted like a fishing rod, which is why we called it "bush bobbing."

I could always find some young kids who would come out with me and stay overnight. In those days parents would let their kids do this, nobody would bother us. Sometimes we'd be gone two days. So I got a lot of help and I was getting 10 cents a pound when for 11 cents you could go to a movie and buy a bag of popcorn. So I was a high roller in high school; I had more money than most any of them. Then I went into the army. How I got started in fly fishing was when I got out I went to work at the Biological Warfare Center in Frederick. I was maybe the 14th person hired there. It was shift work and because I had seniority, I opted to get most of the night shifts so I could hunt and fish in the daytime.I got a reputation in two years of really being a hot dog fisherman.

So a guy named Joe Brooks who was writing a small column for the Baltimore newspaper asked me to take him fishing so he could write a column about it. We went right below Harper's Ferry and I carried the canoe down. Joe Brooks was a very dignified, tall, almost regal person, not put on; it was just his natural demeanor. After I brought the last of the load down, I noticed he was putting a bamboo rod together. In those days, spinning tackle was just starting to be sold in the U.S. But I had little ultra light plug reels that you could use light line with. I had brought two of them.

So I said, "Mr. Brooks, if you don't have a plug reel you're certainly welcome to use one of mine." He said, "What's the problem?" I told him it seemed to be pretty windy, blowing at 12-15 miles an hour. I had actually never seen a flycaster up to that time. He said, "Do you mind if I use this?" and I said, "No, not at all." So we got into the canoe right below Harper's Ferry on the Potomac. Nobody ever catches as many fish as the local guy on his water, but Joe caught almost as many on his fly rod as I did. I was really impressed. We ate lunch on some rocks that set out at a right angle from the river. After lunch he walked out on the rock and looked upriver where there were a lot of dimples on the surface. Fish were going after flying ants that didn't make it across the river. It was September, and there is always this occurrence in that area. So he started flicking his line out with what I later learned was a Black Ghost streamer. After about every two strips he had a fish on. Now here I am casting about a 6-pound braided nylon and seeing a flyline for the first time, it looked to me like a rope. He did this about 12 times and I said to myself, man I got to have some of this. The next day I drove my Model A Ford 50 miles to Baltimore where he was living at the time. He selected and I bought a South Bend fiberglass rod which was about a 9 weight, and a Pflueger Medalist reel, which I still have. He taught that 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock casting. Now here I was, 20 years old, casting almost all day long, using mostly popping bugs and streamers. Slowly, I developed a method I use today by bringing your rod way back because I realized the 10 to 2 o'clock method may have worked on small streams but that was it. That would be about 1947. In the middle 50s I wrote a big feature article on it for Outdoor Life and Nat Smith, a famous illustrator, did the drawings on it showing the rod way back. Well the magazine caught all kinds of heat from readers saying you should never take rods beyond 2 o'clock, which is standard today.

Q: I guess some people back then also didn't have a life?

LK: You'd be amazed , Peter. I was one of the people. Ted Trueblood and a couple of other guys, we recommended to Scientific Anglers which was a new company making floating fly lines like other companies out of silk, which never really floated, but they tried. We recommended that they make a sinking line, which was the original high-density hi-d line. Well, when they made that thing and we wrote about it, there was a fire storm of criticism that a sinking fly line was not fly fishing. Not long after the lines came out I wrote an article in Outdoor Life saying you should use short leaders with sinking lines to minimize the fly's floating too high above the sinking line. Oh, there was much disgust by some readers about that too. I was the first to write about lead eyes and people were writing to Fly Fisherman saying they were jigs. These are the same people who are today using Clouser Minnows like crazy. Tradition is good. As long as it doesn't stand in the way of progress. Unfortunately there are many myths in fly fishing.

Psychology, Teaching, and Fishing

Q: You are considered in everything I've read about you and confirmed by this interview, as a very modest and unpretentious person. Yet, if fly fishing is a religion, you are the Pope. I know you've built your career over time, but was there anything that propelled you into the international limelight?

LK: Several things have helped me. The most important thing is that I have never accepted any kind of a problem. For example, if you wear hip boots and you cast with your right hand, you strip with your left hand. When you cast, the boot strap entangles in the line. Out of 30,000 hip boot wearers, all 30,000 will just put up with this. But as soon as I started having that problem , I said to myself, why am I having this problem? I thought about it and I took the strap out of the buckle, I reversed the buckle, I put the strap back in and it now went inside the boot. So now I eliminated the problem. Most people just accept the problem.

If you're going to be successful in the outdoor writing field and particularly if you're going to do a lot of teaching, there are two ways you can go about it. One way is destructive and other is very good. If you "share" knowledge, people accept it. If you "display" knowledge, people get ticked off. In fact one of the biggest problems with most of the fly-casting instructors I know is that they are really trying to impress their students with how good they are rather than being deeply concerned with how they can help this person become a better caster. If I saw somebody that needed help, I would never walk up to them and say, "Let me show you how to do that." Instead, even though I figured this out for myself, I would say, "Let me show you something somebody showed me."

Now, unconsciously, this person is saying, "Well, he's as dumb as I am. Maybe I'll learn something." Whereas if you just said, "Let me show you how to do that." What the reaction is, even if he wanted to learn, he's about half ticked off because in effect you're saying to him that you're smarter than he is and he should have figured this out a long time ago for himself. The most successful teachers and writers are those who share knowledge rather than display it.

Striped Bass and Commercial Fishing Q: What are your views on the recreational versus commercial fishing wars? How do we resolve the problems regarding striped bass for example?

LK: If you're going to talk economics there's no comparison. Recreational fishing puts into the economy over 50 times what the commercial does. I also believe that most commercial fishermen will fish until the last spawning fish is gone and then go get another job, and that's based on being the outdoor editor for the Baltimore Sun for 18 years, covering Chesapeake Bay and other waters. For example, they finally come up with a net ban in Florida so the fishermen get around it by using panels. They constantly come up with ways to harvest the fish. And it's a finite resource. As long as the environment is good, Mother Nature will replenish it if we take care of it. The commercial fishermen are not going to give up.

Q: So how do we solve the problem?

LK: We make gamefish out of them. In Chesapeake Bay, six or eight commercial companies were harvesting over 80 percent of all the striped bass before the moratorium. But the companies, when they went before the state legislature, would round up a handful of fishermen with patched boat boots, wives and kids in tow, and make it look like they were going to be putting these little mom and pop family operations out of business.

One of them anchored over the deep holes in the bay where the the adult rockfish would winter over and just suck them up--he could stay out there for a week. Well his scuppers got open, the boat went down and he drowned. When they recovered his boat and his body they discovered he had over 8 miles of netting on his boat!

The other problem people don't realize is that many in New England, and New Jersey, New York, and Maryland aren't really commercial fishermen. They're firemen or policemen with three days off. They apply for a commercial license. You'd be surprised the very high percentage of guys with commercial licenses who do not depend upon the fishing for their primary source of income but for extra spending money. So he's raping a resource just for his own luxuries.

Favorite Gamefish

Q: What's your favorite freshwater fish? Saltwater?

LK: Smallmouth bass. Bonefish.

Beautiful Destinations

Q: What is the most beautiful place you've ever fished?

LK: Probably southern Chile, trout fishing. There are mountains down there that rise up like the top of a sombrero, clouds that look like smoke rings. It's not the best trout fishing; that's in New Zealand of all the great trout areas I've fished. But I think Chile is the prettiest area I've fished. And it's got some of the friendliest people too.

Great Books and Fishing Q: What would you say are the best old and contemporary fishing books that you've ever read?

LK: I think McClane's fishing encyclopedia was a major breakthrough. Al had told me that book sold 40,000 copies before it was even printed, just to libraries. Even today that's still a remarkably informational book. I don't want to sound immodest, but my book Fly Fishing in Salt Water (referred to by many as the Koran of saltwater fly fishing) has been a standard and has introduced people not only in this country but all over the world to saltwater fly fishing. Wherever I fish all over the world people come up to have me sign their copies. I'm amazed! Art Flick's little book which showed that if you had a certain few flies you could catch trout. You didn't need the underarm hair of an orangutan mixed with the fur of an Australian possum and some Iberian sheep. I think that woke a lot of people up. I think Matching the Hatch was another landmark book. Certainly, and not just because we did it, but Practical Fishing Knots has sold over 300,000 copies.


Q: You have an international reputation as a very nice guy. What do you think accounts for that?

LK: I believe that people sense when you're trying to do something for someone. I have more friends than anybody I know and I think one reason is that I enjoy trying to help people without trying to get anything back.

Q: The time you're giving me here bears testimony to that. You are universally respected as not only a sportfishing expert but also as a good human being.

LK: The nicest thing that has started to happen to me over the last ten years is that perfect strangers, who have nothing to gain, will come up to me, shake my hand and thank me for what I've done for the sport of fly fishing, for helping them to cast better and get more out of the sport. The odd thing is that I cast spinning and plug tackle as well as I do fly. And few people know that I actually designed spinning reels for Garcia for years. Their modern drag and all of the modern plug reels were actually designed by three other guys and me. But nobody knows that stuff and I don't worry about it.

Q: When will your autobiography be published?

LK Oh, I don't know. I started two years ago and I've got some words down. It seems like every time I get started to writing it, something comes up. This morning I had a guy call who said he needed the two stories I promised him. I was going to work on the autobiography today but I ain't going to do that now. I thought you might enjoy seeing my fly-tying room, and where I keep my tackle before you leave. Lefty Kreh's home in suburban Hunt Valley, Maryland is a handsome two-story colonial on a modest and well landscaped lot. It's similarity to any other home, however, ends when you walk into it. Meticulously kept by Ev, it is effectively a combination sparkling museum of 40 years of fishing memorabilia and a treasure trove of fishing tackle that rivals the display at Worldwide Sportsman. All of it is organized, in its proper place, and benefiting from Lefty's resourceful refinements, each of which should command a copyright. In addition to his study/library, he toured me through his fly-tying room which had nary a hackle or hook out of place, his darkroom where he develops his own photos and his living room which, above the sofa, features a realistic replica of a gleaming, giant tarpon.

Peter Budryk is the author of Trout & Salmon Lakes of CT and How To Fish Them, Covered Bridge Press/Parnassus Imprints, 2000, and The Innermost Waters, Fishing the Ponds & Lakes of Cape Cod, 1st Books Library, to be published in 2004. Contact him at

Monday, June 2, 2008

Fishing last weekend

We started fishing this small creek in Ashe County. The weather cooperated and it threatened to rain but never did start. The water was pretty low. It averaged between 1 and 2ft and was super clear. This made it good for trout but hard for fisherman. It was difficult to sneak up on the fish because of how narrow the creek was. Casting was a challenge. My friend Tommy was with me and it was his first time trout fishing. He figured out right away that you have to look before you cast. Within minutes he had his first tree fish.

Unfortunately, he didn't have any boots either. I had suggested for him to invest in some felt soul boots. He found some felt souled pool shoes that were $15. After a few steps in the creek his face had a grimace of pain and he said "I can feel every rock, it feels like I'm barefoot." I knew he was in for a long day. He spent his day painfully moving from rock to rock while trying to find a sandy bottom to rest. I luckily had felt souled boots, so I could move along at a quicker pace. I worked pools and small runs. The fish were there but really hard to catch. I caught one fish right away but it was a hour or so before I caught this next one. I decided to see how my new Brodin net worked out.
The net worked great but I can still see that I'm going to have the same problem I've had with other cloth material type nets. When you catch a trout they never calmly slide into the net. They're usually thrashing around. Your fly is in the corner of their mouth and the hook is usually some what exposed. This can cause the fly to tangle in the net. So you spend more time releasing the fish. Smashing down the barb on the hook helps but it can still get tangled. I only managed two fish all day.

I heard about some small mouth bass that can be caught on the New River so we decided to try our luck. It only took about 10min to get to the New. Fishing spots were scarce. We finally found a place to throw our line in by a church. It was a pretty section but there was no sign of life in the water.We fished this spot for about 20min then decided to look for another spot. We didn't find any decent access spots on our way back to Boone. I decided to try our luck at Valley Crucis Park.
We pulled in and the parking lot was pretty empty. I read a report that the river was just stocked a few days ago. I was surprised it wasn't more crowded. We made our way down to the creek and I saw a few people fishing. I found a big pool that had a bunch of fish in it. I threw a white bugger I had tied and saw about 5 fish hit it, then one finally was hooked. Cast after cast I watched fish swirl around my fly or take little samples of it. None of the fish were super aggressive. Tommy didn't have much luck. He decided to try the pond in the park and was having some success with some bream. After a couple hours we decided to call it a day.

Sunday we woke up to a storm and some rain. It gave us a chance to get some breakfast. I decided it would be a good idea to fish the park again since the fish were obviously there and it's a good place for beginners. The sun was higher in the sky and you could see even better into the water. The rain had stopped and the weather was perfect. I went to the same pool I had fished the day before. This time there was other fisherman there. You could also see about 50 fish stacked near a rock in the middle of the pool. I threw a bugger in there and instantly had a fish on. It came off pretty quickly. I saw the same behavior I observed the day before with fish circling and tasting the fly but not swallowing it. I figured they had seen so much thrown at them and were so stressed they were not that aggressive. People with spinning gear were catching fish pretty regularly but even they had the issue of fish just playing with their bait. I caught a few fish and Tommy painfully waded from pool to pool. He was learning how to spot the fish in the water. He started to realize that you needed to drift the fly into the fish. I forgot he had no experience trout fishing. The behavior of trout, presentation and fly selection were clueless to him. I spent the day losing more than I caught. I hooked plenty but my fly would either break off or the fish would spit the hook. Tommy managed to hook a few. The water in the park was disappointing. The fish were concentrated in these herds in only about a foot ball field distance of stream. They didn't seem to spread out. They would stay compacted together. It was fun but got old really quick. It was like fish in a barrel. You didn't have to work for the fish and it was a matter of casting until one either hit out of frustration or you found the trout that was so hungry it decided to hit. I'd rather hike and fish than stand in one spot throwing into a pool of scared and stressed trout. It was a fun day regardless of the fishing conditions. I think Tommy had a good time too.